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Sooo…it’s actually three months since this trip and I don’t particularly care to relive the drama. Especially the day after my first quarter here (FY12Q1). Let’s see if a quick recap will suffice for the 1,400 mile journey to the North Pole:

  • Ordered a UHaul for a one bedroom apartment that can move 3-4 bedrooms
    Option 1: Switch to Budget for the right size truck for +$100; current truck: 12mpg; smaller truck: 10mpg. Benefit? Not really.
    Option 2: Ship it all
    Option 3: Mail it all
  • Winner: Mail it all. And this is how I ended up moving via UPS and USPS. (If you didn’t know, media mail is the best thing ever invented. The first day I mailed 200lbs of books for just $60.)
  • Net savings: ($100). The boxes cost $100 more than the truck after all was said and mailed. But I was estimating gas at almost $3000 for an SUV pulling a car and a truck. Truck gone; now we’re down to $800 to take an SUV north and then $800 to bring it back.
  • Original plan: Austin to Tyler to Memphis to Indianapolis to East Lansing in 4 days.

Original plan

  • Departure date: Wednesday moved to Saturday which moved to Sunday and go to Houston first but then made it to Dallas that night. Mir accompanied us to Houston; just Emily and I set off north to see the (U.S.) world. Original plan out the window. Get to Pottsboro. Recheck route. Route change: I can go due north and end up by Chicago by family! Wonder if I can do this without hotel expense…
  • Apparently all drama and all nerves equals no sleep and I was up at 5am without an alarm, couldn’t go back to sleep so I snuck out of Pottsboro and no one woke up until 10am. Then the calls from Texas and Florida started! And lasted, all day, on the hour, for 14 hours.

Hey that's my stuff! Follow me to Michigan please!

  • It was fun convincing everyone I wasn’t going to Bloomington, Indiana and that I knew the difference between Indiana and Illinois. (My geography’s bad; but not that bad! Plus, I’ve had a love affair with Chicago forever; I know where Chicago is!)
  • I thought Oklahoma was a small state; seemed like we drove through it forever. I went through Carrie Underwood’s home town and posted on Facebook that “I Ain’t in Checotah” anymore :-). Google’s a bit off….I went around Tulsa; never actually saw it.
  • Missouri took forever as well. There’s Six Flags outside of St. Louis, and they have fireworks stores there! I stopped and bought sparklers to say I did. And checked out the world’s largest candy store! Lots of stops; lots of sanity checks to break the drive zone.
  • Five hours later, Emily and I made it to Chenoa for a night of gluten-free noodles, steak, beans (pretty sure that was dinner), catching up with the cousins!, and to bed in the back room with Emily to keep her away from the other cats. Second disposable catbox set up, 14 more hours of driving complete, and out like a light.
  • To not sleep again. Awake at 5am to head out! Swing around Chicago, dip into Indiana, hello Pure Michigan.
  • A call to the leasing office that I was 30 minutes out and could they get the paper work ready because I had a pet in the car, picked up everything and headed to my new studio in East Lansing, Michigan. 20 degrees cooler, 1,400 miles in three days north of home and everyone to the North Pole for the PhD adventure.

And I was immediately greeted by what I started calling, My Michigan Inspiration.

  • Net: I think gas ended up costing ~$150. I love my Honda Civic that gets 34mpg. I never did the math but pretty sure that’s a ell of a lot less than the moving truck would have been and there was no return trip or $800 for the SUV to head north!
  • A day to straighten up before company comes. So then it was time for some e-mail catch up (of course; so soon!) and a nap and then to bed early. It only took two weeks to recover from this grand adventure, but, I’m here!